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  1. #21
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    Jul. 5, 2002
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    FL
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    These quotes say it better than I could.

    It isn't numbers but rather quality and vision. Someone can breed 1 mare a year or 20 mares a year, but what makes them a breeder versus a backyard breeder is the quality of their broodmares, the care of their horses, the breeding decisions they make, the follow through with their young horses, and ultimately, the end result.
    This isn't the first time the whole "what is a backyard
    breeder" conversation has appeared here. Unless you are trying to define a tax status, I don't understand why the label is important. You are either a good horseman, or you aren't. You are either ethical, or you aren't. I probably know more people with an inflated sense of their abilities than I know that don't. It doesn't make me scratch my head... that's just life.

    I have 15 acres, and two (now retired) broodmares. I made some good decisions when breeding, and I made some mistakes. Who ever got everything right? I don't particularly care whether someone labels me a backyard breeder or not. The only legacy that has been important to me is being considered clear-eyed and ethical.


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  2. #22
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    Feb. 18, 2012
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    knee deep in Oregon mud
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldernewbie View Post
    However, when you observe someone's stunning lack of objectivity about their horses or their business practices, that's a pretty good clue.

    http://limaohio.craigslist.org/grd/3431841917.html
    Holy cowhocks Batman!!!
    It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
    Theodore Roosevelt


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  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2004
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    The Great, uh, Green (?!?!) North!
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    I think we need four categories to be honest, each with it's "light" and "dark" side...

    Reputable commercial breeder vs "Puppy Mill" type breeder

    and

    Knowledgeable private breeder vs Backyard breeder

    What the two on the left have are knowledge and horsemanship skills, regardless of their focus, breed or discipline. They understand what they're breeding for, and what will give them their best chance of getting it. Someone could be range breeding ranch-type horses, IF the herd is managed appropriately, and the program produces a quality product with a genuine market.

    The two on the right are indiscriminate and lacking in horsemanship, but on different scales... I honestly think the Puppy Mill types have more to answer for than the Backyard breeders...
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


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  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2006
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    Ontario
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    To put a spin on this, when is a breeder the equivalent a puppy mill?

    For me it is those breeders that will breed to ANY mare to get the Stud fee and hide behind the excuse that their stallion improves anything or that they run a business so as long as it makes $$, it is a good choice.

    A well run breeding operation should be looking to produce Performance quality foal all of the time, no matter what the discipline. Those that produce for anything else (colour or money) as the first consideration, fall into the 'foal mill' category in my opinion.

    edited to add--too funny, we both brought up Puppy Mill at the same time.
    Proud scar wearing member of the Bold, Banned and Bitchen clique



  5. #25
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    Apr. 8, 2004
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    Honestly? I think it's about the volume and the marketability. I have no problem if someone wants to breed for colour IF there is a real market for it and they're not breeding in genetic issues ie HYPP. Just like I don't care if a stallion is "perfect" if it has qualities that makes it desirable. As an ammy with a FT job, I do NOT want to try and ride some of gaits you see on a high end performance horse. I want something reasonably talented with a sense of humour and forgiving personality, and I think a smart commercial breeder can capitalize on a market such as that.
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


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  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2004
    Location
    Virginia. We Do Ponies!
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    What makes a legitimate breeder vs any other kind?

    Reputation....of end result and of individual.
    Quality of resulting pony or horse.

    Everything else really doesn't make a person better or worse nor does it make their stock better or worse. All the gorgeous barns and fences, etc. doesn't make you anything other than fortunate. It takes years of consistent quality breeding in order to earn the reputation of a quality breeder.

    Having bred one star (horse or pony) doesn't earn you that title.
    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver, Equine Insurance Specialist


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  7. #27
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    Mar. 4, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoroughbred in Color View Post
    Holy cowhocks Batman!!!
    I don't think there are two legs pointing in the same direction in those conformation shots!



  8. #28
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    Mar. 28, 2003
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    Hunterdon County, NJ
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    To me "backyard" is the opposite of informed, so uninformed in terms of horsemanship, breeding principles, bloodlines, registries....everything.

    Here is an example of what some people might consider "backyard" breeders: Two mares, no website, didn't start until after they retired, sold their farm, and they don't even breed anymore. Still, it worked out pretty well:
    http://cms.kwpn.nl/mediafile/0004/70...Grand_Prix.pdf
    Kendra
    Runningwater Warmbloods & Mare Station

    Home of SPS Diorella (Donnerhall/ Akut), EMC What Fun (Wolkentanz I/ Lauries Crusador), and EMC Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) 'Like' us on Facebook


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  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2005
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    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by hansiska View Post
    To me "backyard" is the opposite of informed, so uninformed in terms of horsemanship, breeding principles, bloodlines, registries....everything.

    Here is an example of what some people might consider "backyard" breeders: Two mares, no website, didn't start until after they retired, sold their farm, and they don't even breed anymore. Still, it worked out pretty well:
    http://cms.kwpn.nl/mediafile/0004/70...Grand_Prix.pdf
    Many of the breeders in Holland are small farmers as in this example. I agree with the two posts Mary Lou Home Again Farm referenced in response to the question.



  10. #30
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    Mar. 28, 2003
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    I think a great number of breeders in the US breed on this scale as well (and many in Germany), breeding about two mares a year. The idea that the quality of a breeder be based on how many are bred per year seems silly to me.

    I also agree with ahf and HAF, but then again I usually do!
    Kendra
    Runningwater Warmbloods & Mare Station

    Home of SPS Diorella (Donnerhall/ Akut), EMC What Fun (Wolkentanz I/ Lauries Crusador), and EMC Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) 'Like' us on Facebook



  11. #31
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    Jan. 26, 2012
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    Barboursville, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyTimMick View Post
    I would suggest that a backyard breeder is one who has no focus for their breeding, and the willingness to breed any mare to any stallion. Chooses stallions for no other reason then they like them. Puts no effort into learning what is needed for a particular sport, and no effort into learning what good breeding practices get you there. Generally accepts the local show ring as the height of sport, and is content if their foals ever show up there.

    Essentially their knowledge and effort never reach farther then their own back yard.

    The # of mares bred, or size of the barn are not criterea for distinguishing a backyard breeder from a professional. I can think of a number of "breeders" who are much larger then I am, but don't go any further then breeding their OTTB's that they recieved for free and then breeding them to their neighbors stallion because he will let him cover their mares. Their size doesn't define them, but their actions do.

    Tim
    well said
    Hyperion Stud, LLC.
    Europe's Finest, Made in America
    WWW.HYPERIONSTUD.com
    Standing Elite and Approved Stallions


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  12. #32
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    Apr. 14, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    I am sure there is no precise criteria but I would define it as someone whose main breeding plan includes nothing other than having the required anatomy to produce a foal.
    This. The number of acres on the farm or the number of horses is irrelevant. It is the thought, planning, breeding stock selection and the goal expected in the breeding choices...not just the necessary reproductive organs!! When I was selling one of our breeding stallions - a 16.2 hand, well bred, black/white homozygous paint, I had a man come here wanting to buy him to pasture breed 70 mares!!! I asked him what discipline he was breeding for and was told. "nothing in particular, just spotted colts"!! Yeh, right!! Horse went to a non-breeding, trail horse home in Texas!! IMO, "Backyard breeders" come in all shapes and sizes!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  13. #33
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by pal-o-mino View Post
    I probably qualify. I have a mare with no papers, crippled, baby was actually born in a backyard. lol But she gave me this:

    http://i1247.photobucket.com/albums/...unningbaby.jpg

    http://i1247.photobucket.com/albums/...11/babypic.jpg

    He's a little downhill, but these were taken over a year ago (he was a yearling), he's evening up. Oh, I also bred for color. Well, temperment first. But color a close second!
    Yup, that sums up backyard breeder for me.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


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  14. #34
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
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    14,221

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    Breed the best to the best and hope for the best.

    Even then the baby can be crooked or a disaster.

    I'm a backyard breeder, and not at all like some of you have suggested by suggesting some kind of negative conotation. I've had my share of non-
    pregnancies, costly babies and still have loved every minute of having them.
    Wish I was stupid enough to have a baby every year, but am not having any more.
    Very nice babies come from non-registered stock, too, it depends. It is not for anybody to look down on these breeders either.

    But I do hear some of you - just because she has a uterus does not mean she should produce a baby, or if a person has a colt that it should remain ungelded so it can be a stud. Poor things, many stallions don't have fun lives.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  15. #35
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    May. 2, 2011
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    Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyTimMick View Post
    I would suggest that a backyard breeder is one who has no focus for their breeding, and the willingness to breed any mare to any stallion. Chooses stallions for no other reason then they like them. Puts no effort into learning what is needed for a particular sport, and no effort into learning what good breeding practices get you there. Generally accepts the local show ring as the height of sport, and is content if their foals ever show up there.

    Essentially their knowledge and effort never reach farther then their own back yard.

    The # of mares bred, or size of the barn are not criterea for distinguishing a backyard breeder from a professional. I can think of a number of "breeders" who are much larger then I am, but don't go any further then breeding their OTTB's that they recieved for free and then breeding them to their neighbors stallion because he will let him cover their mares. Their size doesn't define them, but their actions do.

    Tim
    Yes!! I suppose I can be considered a backyard breeder, but I take pride in the one or two superior foals I breed every year or so.
    "How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" Julian Lennon



  16. #36
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    Jun. 9, 2012
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    394

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    To me a backyard breeder is someone who breeds anything and everything, regardless of quality but usually on the horrible end, just because they can.
    What also fits into my description of that is someone who doesn't provide the proper care to those animals, especially during their pregnancy. Nothing irks me more than someone who doesn't get their mare preg. checked and assume she's pregnant based on the size of her belly, and also doesn't provide vaccinations while she's pregnant. Mares who are skinny, stallions/mares that pass on genetic impurities, etc. The "breeder" who is only in it for whatever dollar signs they are seeing.

    Let me tell you there is no profit in breeding. Maybe a *smidge* if you're responsible, but not hundreds of thousands of dollars. And what you do make back, it usually does (and should) go back into your program. And make it even BETTER.

    A reputable breeder to me cares about the appearance of not only themselves, but first & foremost their stock. They are responsible and reputable. They know excellent conformation from good or bad conformation, and they breed to better their breed/species both in conformation, personality, performance, and temperament.

    You don't HAVE to show, but I do think higher of breeders who have a presence in the show world.

    I bred and raised rabbits for 6 or so years and I didn't start out right -I made mistakes, I didn't breed purebreds, etc. If I could go back and change that all, I certainly would.



  17. #37
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    Jan. 4, 2004
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    Houston, Tx
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    I really don't like the label, because it's usually said in a mean way, but I think it has to do with if you make money at it. I was definitely a "backyard breeder" in the horse world, because I didn't make any money. In spite of using excellent mares, best stallions for them that I could find, had a nice clean neat facility, had a website, registered all my foals etc. But I could never be considered a professional, in my mind, because I never made money at it. My breeding business only lasted as long as my bank account. I hate the term actually because it is so derogatory. Whatever it means to the person using it, it is never used in a complimentary way. And its an easy term to throw around without clear definition.



  18. #38
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    Mar. 11, 2006
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    Arizona
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    So many definitions, criteria, and opinions that what makes one person legitimate in one's eyes relegates them a backyard breeder in another one's.

    Let's see here, do I have a plan? Yup. I Have an over all plan and a few contingencies in my back pocket. Primarily I breed for an animal I want to ride and show. I prefer a particular breed and type and will not sway from it no matter how popular a certain line is. Color makes no difference to me though there are some colors I prefer to stay clear of if I can. Conformation is huge to me as well as disposition (Every one says that though right?) Perhaps the fact that I back/start everything around here and usually am the one who ends up showing it the first year or two provides me a little more incentive to focus on those areas.

    Do I register my young stock? Yup.

    Is everyone in my breeding herd registered? No. All but one is registered with the US registry. The one is not eligible unless I kiss the behinds of the powers-that-be and jump through extra hoops. In the end her offspring would still be registered as Half-bred/part-bred even if she possessed US papers; so I see no benefit of having her registered. I do know her bloodlines.

    Speaking of bloodlines? Do I know them and have an idea of what is produced? Absolutely. My stallion is the grandson of a mare I searched high and low for and backed and showed. I have researched, trained and ridden these bloodlines and know very well the ins and outs. Of course my current stallion only has one foal crop on the ground so it's still a gamble in that he's relatively young and "unproven" in so many eyes. He has scored well through second level and is young and continues to be trained; so, there is time and imo talent to go further. His offspring this year looks and moves exactly like him. He improved on the mares (who possess solid conformation so I'm talking little things - height for one, topline for another).

    How about performance record? I have trained, shown and continue to ride my breeding stock. I personally will not breed a mare who I haven't worked with to know their work ethic, rideability, and how manageable they are in a variety of situations.

    Do I advertise? Well those that I have for sale I will put on the "typical" sales web sites but have never taken the plunge to do so in popular magazines or large venues.

    Do I have a web site? Yup.

    Do I cull? Yup.

    Do I have a market for what I produce? Well, that is where the real stick in the mud can be found. I first and foremost breed for myself. I do sell the occasional animal but that is not my primary focus yet I will be honest and say that my wildest dream is to produce and make available an ammy friendly beast that is capable of performing without the necessity of being placed in full-time training with a pro, is of the size and stature that those like me can easily handle, and is more of an all-rounder that suits the family, not just one individual. You see that alone relegates me to a backyard breeder because I have no delusions that I am going to nor is it my desire to produce an Olympic contender. I want the middle class ammy to be able to ride, enjoy, show AND AFFORD what I produce. So I freely admit to being a wannabe and because it's America, I cannabe

    While I read all of the expertise on this board and can tick off all the selection criteria listed, I am well aware that I am a backyard breeder.......My stock do not belong to one of the sport-horse registries. Despite showing for decades and a few national awards that I've racked up, I am an unknown as are my horses in the discipline of my choice as well as within my breed (never ever have shown in a breed show for "my" breed). I do not breed outside mares. As I stated I breed for myself and my mind's eye. I keep my stallion and mares in my backyard and make my choices on which ones to breed in which years based on my personal agenda, the outlook on my future, and because I can. So despite the fact that I don't indiscriminately breed my horses and am always prepared to deal with any consequence that might result from my choices I know that in the eyes of most on this board, the experts, I am a backyard breeder.

    Now do I care? Well within the last year I have made a few changes in my training/riding program for myself. I am now riding with someone who does not breed and feels pretty strongly against it. The first time she came out to my place to look at one of my horses which was soon after I took my first lesson with her, she asked me, "So why do you do it? Just to breed whatever you can? Don't you think there's enough horses to choose from already?" I just shook my head and stated it was my choice. She has now coached me at a few shows, given me many a lesson and watched me clinic with others. Recently as she and I were hauling back from one of those clinics, she stated, "You know your horses are always sound. They have good conformation, solid engines. They obviously have good minds and are kind as is evident with all you do with them. I now understand why you breed." So as long as I can pay for it (I work full-time so I can) and enjoy it and defend my decisions to those who's opinions I do care about.....NO I do not care that I am a backyard breeder. I have all the justification that I need
    Ranch of Last Resort
    www.annwylid.com


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  19. #39
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    Dec. 20, 2010
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    606

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    Exvet,

    I would argue that everything you posted proves exactly why you are not a backyard breeder.

    Well said.


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  20. #40
    Join Date
    Nov. 21, 2007
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    877

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    What makes someone a "backyard breeder"? Lots of different factors can indicate a leaning towards this. Think of all those "You know he/she is a redneck when......" jokes! Lol.

    Some indicating factors:

    1. "Who cares about pedigrees? No one notices that stuff!"

    2. Typos and irrelevancies on ads and websites. i.e. "Perfikt confirmation!" and "He's big, black, and hairy!"

    3. Use of unapproved stallions and grade mares.

    4. Having no breeding goals or direction. For example, I know one registry that assigns "purpose" to a horse at it's "inspection". "This horse is best suited as a ____________ horse." Say what?!?! You mean you're breeding horses and only figuring out FOR WHAT after the fact? <FACEPALM>

    5. EVERYTHING is definitely an "FEI Prospect".

    6. Selling said supposed "FEI Prospects" for chump change.

    I'm sure there's much more. These things came to mind immediately, however.
    www.sauconycreeksporthorses.com
    Dedicated to breeding Friesian Sporthorses
    with world class pedigrees and sport suitability



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